FVPLS Victoria Regional Legal Team, 2016
FVPLS Victoria provides legal services to Aboriginal women, men and children who are victims/survivors of sexual assault or family violence or who are at immediate risk of family violence or sexual assault.
We also assist non-Aboriginal parents of Aboriginal children who are victims/survivors of family violence or sexual assault.
We do not provide support to perpetrators of family violence or sexual assault. We can refer perpetrators to services that are able to assist them.
Please check our Client Service Charter here.
What do we do?
FVPLS Victoria is able to provide a range of legal services, including advice and advocacy in relation to:
- VOCAT assistance;
- Child Protection;
- Intervention Orders issued in relation to family violence;
- Family Law;
- legal issues connected to a family violence situation such as: complaints about police; assistance with Centrelink or the Child Support Agency; and problems with the Office of Housing about damage to your house.
Who are our legal services staff?
Our staff include lawyers and paralegal support workers.
LAWYERS are available to help you with legal advice about:
- Intervention Orders – assist you to make an application to the Magistrates' Court for intervention orders to prevent a perpetrator from harming you with physical, emotional, verbal or financial abuse i.e. an order aims to prevent a person from coming near you, your house or your children. Even when police assist you by taking out an application or urgent safety notice after hours, it is recommended that you get your own legal advice as soon as possible.
- Child Protection matters – DHS involvement with your family in relation to:
- DHS making an assessment of your children’s safety;
- placing children with another family member;
- asking you to sign an agreement that you will do certain things to protect your children;
- applications to the Children’s Court where children are assessed as being at risk of harm or when DHS asks for orders to be extended;
- challenging DHS case plan decisions;
- children in foster care or who are placed in out-of-home care;
- other Child Protection matters.
Please note: In relation to child protection matters, it is extremely important, and in your best interests, to get legal advice as soon as DHS makes contact.
- Family Law in relation to:
- making parenting plans that ensure the safety of the children;
- recovering the children if they have been overheld or taken away by a family member;
- assisting at mediation to ensure that the agreement between you is safe for you and the children.
- Reporting family violence and sexual assaults to the police.
- Applying for financial assistance, such as for counselling, medical treatment and other expenses incurred to assist recovery, which is available for victims of violent crime through Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT)
- In some cases, VOCAT can assist with urgent expenses assistance to ensure you are safe.
- Personal injury or ‘civil’ claims will be referred to private solicitors.
- Advocating for you in relation to criminal cases for crimes against you.
- Complaints about police in relation to their obligations to act in family violence matters.
Paralegal Support Workers are available to assist you with:
- Information about family violence;
- Information about legal and other options available following an incident of family violence or sexual assault;
- Information about court processes;
- Court support for attending court hearings;
- Support when reporting crimes to the police;
- Organising and assistance accessing counselling;
- Referral to other local services that provide support for survivors of family violence or sexual assault, such as:
- Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA);
- family violence support service;
- women’s refuges;
- family support from an Aboriginal organisation;
- men’s behaviour change programs.